Thompson Creek’s Mt. Milligan is still examining the possible options regarding transportation of the metal concentrate which will come out of the mine once it is operating.
The gold and copper concentrates were originally approved as part of an environmental permit plan for it to be trucked from the mine and then loaded onto rail cars just outside of Fort St. James, at a rail loading facility to be constructed.
The mine is now examining the potential to apply to change the permit for one of two other possible options.
One would be to truck the concentrate as well and then load it onto rail cars at a facility Mt. Milligan would construct, but instead of the concentrate coming to Fort St. James, it would be sent to Mackenzie.
The third option is trucking the concentrate through Fort St. James and then west on Highway 16 and up Highway 37 (Stewart-Cassiar) to a port in Stewart, B.C..
While that road was closed due to a washout earlier in September, this will not effect the decision whether or not to go this route with the concentrate, according to Wes Carson, manager of operations development for Mt. Milligan.
“We’re really still looking at it in the same way and we’re far enough out that anything happening like that in the short term isn’t effecting our decision at this point,” said Carson. “There’s always the risk of something like that happening, so you have to weight that risk.”
Carson said the rail line could just as easily have an avalanche along that route as well.
There would be somewhere between 12 to 14 trucks per day carrying the concentrate going through the Fort, should they decide to ship it to Stewart, the trucks would be staggered through the day and would be hauling whenever the mine is producing.